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Eating Healthy = Expensive?

March 9th, 2020 | Comments Off on Eating Healthy = Expensive? | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Eating Healthy Doesn’t Have to Be Expensive

Eating a well-balanced diet is a key component of living a long, healthy life. Many Americans think that eating healthy means they have to empty their wallets, which isn’t necessarily the truth. Keep the following money-saving tips in mind next time you’re grocery shopping:

  • Make a weekly meal plan. Before you go to the store, think about what meals and snacks you want for the week. Read recipes thoroughly so you can make an accurate list of everything you need, reducing the risk that you’ll have to run back to the store later in the week.
     
  • Create a list—and stick to it. Make a detailed list of what you need to buy before you go to the store. When you get to the store, don’t buy anything besides what’s on the list.
     
  • Plan where you’re going to shop. Many grocery stores run sales or offer coupons for various healthy foods. Check out the ads and plan your grocery list around what’s on sale.
  • Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. According to the Journal of the American Medical

Association, going grocery shopping when you’re hungry can cause you to spend more money than you initially planned to and can increase the odds that you’ll buy unhealthy options.

  • Cook at home as often as possible. Many foods prepared at home are cheaper and more nutritious than fast food. Go back to the basics and find a few simple and healthy recipes that your family enjoys.
     
  • Buy in bulk. For healthy, nonperishable items, it might be more cost-effective to purchase them in bulk. While the initial cost may be more expensive, doing so could help you save money in the long-run.
     
  • Shop seasonally. Fresh fruits and vegetables are usually easier to find and may be a lot less expensive when purchased in season.

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Coronavirus Symptoms & Facts

March 9th, 2020 | Comments Off on Coronavirus Symptoms & Facts | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

American Heart Month

February 5th, 2020 | Comments Off on American Heart Month | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

It’s American Heart Month: What You Need to Know About Heart Disease

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States, causing about 647,000 deaths annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Heart disease is also an extremely expensive disease—costing the United States about $207 billion annually in health care, medications and lost productivity. 

What is heart disease?

Heart disease is a term used to refer to several different types of heart conditions. Out of all the different conditions, coronary artery disease—caused by plaque buildup in the walls of the heart’s arteries—is the most common.

What are the symptoms of heart disease?

The symptoms of heart disease can vary, and some people may not even know they have a heart condition until they have a heart attack. Common signs and symptoms of heart disease include shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain, heart palpitations, weakness and fatigue.

If you experience any of these symptoms, or if they become more severe or frequent, contact your doctor.

Is heart disease preventable?

In many cases, heart disease can be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle and properly managing health conditions. American Heart Month, organized by the American Heart Association (AHA), is designed to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it. Here are tips that may help prevent heart disease:

  • Refrain from smoking.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • Limit your sodium intake.
  • Eat a well-balanced, healthy diet.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Manage your stress.
  • Limit your alcohol intake.

If you are concerned about your risk of developing heart disease or would like to find out more information about the condition, visit the AHA’s website and contact your primary care physician.

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Heart Disease Risk Quiz

February 5th, 2020 | Comments Off on Heart Disease Risk Quiz | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Get Your Results HERE.

New Year’s Resolution Trap

December 31st, 2019 | Comments Off on New Year’s Resolution Trap | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Don’t Fall Into This New Year’s Resolution Trap

Historically, one of the top New Year’s resolutions is to lose weight. Unfortunately, many people look to fad diets and weight loss products to achieve their goals quickly. While fad diets may prove effective initially, research shows that many people don’t find long-term success with these types of diets.

Lasting Lifestyle Changes vs. Quick Fixes

Instead of setting a goal to lose weight fast this New Year’s, set a goal to lead a healthier lifestyle. Common lifestyle New Year’s resolutions include the following:

  • Exercise regularly—Aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week, and to do strength training exercises of major muscle groups at least twice a week.
  • Maintain a well-balanced, healthy diet—Try to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein-rich foods and healthy fats. Make it a goal to incorporate more fruits and veggies into your diet.
  • Increase the amount of sleep you get—One of the best ways to become healthier is to get enough sleep. Try to get at least seven hours of sleep, the expert-recommended amount, per night.

Set Yourself Up for Success

According to U.S. News & World Report, 80% of New Year’s resolutions fail. That’s why it’s so important to set yourself up for success when you’re choosing a resolution.

Regardless of what you choose as your New Year’s resolution, make sure it is a “SMART” goal—one that is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely—to increase the odds that you will stick to it.

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October 8th, 2019 | Comments Off on Breast Cancer Awareness Month | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

October Is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Breast cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths for women in the United States. To help spread awareness of this disease, October is recognized as Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Prevalence of Breast Cancer About 1 in 8 U.S. women will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. While there are some breast cancer risk factors that you can’t control, these prevention strategies can help you reduce your risk:
 
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
     
  • Exercise regularly.
     
  • Abstain from drinking alcohol or limit intake to one drink per day.
If you’re concerned about your personal risk of developing breast cancer, call or visit your doctor. Breast Cancer Awareness Month and You There are a variety of ways that you can support Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Here are just a few ideas:
 
  • Participate in a fundraiser event, like a walk or run, to help raise money for breast cancer research.
     
  • Donate to a charity that provides support and services to women and families that are affected by breast cancer.
     
  • Learn about the signs, symptoms, risk factors and screenings for breast cancer.
     
  • Spread awareness about this disease to help educate friends and family.
For more information on breast cancer, visit the National Cancer Institute’s website.
 

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Emotional Balance and Well-Being

August 2nd, 2019 | Comments Off on Emotional Balance and Well-Being | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

HOW’S YOUR EMOTIONAL HEALTH?

Emotional well-being is something all of us want, but few of us take time to think about and work on. That’s a big mistake, says therapist Julie de Azevedo Hanks, LCSW, author of The Burnout Cure. Good emotional balance can boost happiness, improve relationships and support recovery from a mental health condition—and that’s not all, Hanks says. Reducing emotional stress also helps combat a host of physical ailments, including obesity, heart disease and digestive problems. Can you tell when you and others are doing a good job of working on emotional well-being? Watch for these signs.

LABELING YOUR EMOTIONS

“Emotional well-being starts with becoming aware of your emotions,” says Hanks. One sign of awareness is the ability to name what you’re feeling. “Just identifying an unpleasant emotion can decrease its intensity,” Hanks says. In contrast, if you know you feel yucky but can’t pinpoint the emotion, that’s a warning sign.

Practice this skill: When you aren’t sure what you’re feeling, run through a mental checklist of basic emotions: happiness, surprise, disgust, fear, anger and sadness. Use context and body cues (for instance, sweaty palms or clenched teeth) to help you figure out which ones you’re feeling. It gets easier with practice, Hanks says.

REACHING OUT FOR SUPPORT

“It’s a myth that you should feel happy all the time,” says Hanks. Instead, being emotionally healthy means experiencing all your emotions and then dealing with them in a positive way. People who are good at this skill know how to manage difficult feelings by turning to others for support. In contrast, those who struggle with this skill often try to dull their feelings with food, alcohol, drugs or the TV remote. 

Practice this skill: “When you ask someone for support, be specific about what would feel comforting to you,” Hanks advises. “For example, you might say, ‘I’m so upset. Can I vent, and will you just tell me I’m a good person?'”

BEING KIND TO YOURSELF

“Another sign of emotional health is being kind to yourself when you’re feeling distressed,” says Hanks. Show yourself the same compassion you would give a loved one who is upset. In a recent study, college women who took part in a training program in self-compassion showed decreased brooding and increased optimism and self-confidence. 

Practice this skill: When you need a hug but there’s no one to give you one, fold your arms and give yourself a little squeeze. “Or stroke your own arm soothingly,” Hanks says. “This produces the same physiological response as getting comfort from someone else.”

8 SIGNS OF EMOTIONAL BALANCE AND WELL-BEING

“Even an emotionally healthy person will feel hurt by rejection. That’s just the way we’re wired,” says psychologist Guy Winch, PhD, author of Emotional First Aid. Someone with good emotional skills will take steps to ease the sting of rejection and rebuild self-esteem. In contrast, someone who is less emotionally adept may withdraw into a shell or become overly self-critical.

Practice this skill: When you’ve been rejected, Winch suggests reviving your self-esteem by making a list of five pertinent things that you value about yourself. For example, if you were turned down for a date, you can list five qualities that make you a good dating prospect.

OWNING UP TO MISTAKES

“Emotionally healthy people can recognize when they’ve made a mistake, make it right and then move on,” says Winch. When someone else points out the error, they accept it without becoming defensive or overwhelmed. In contrast, people who are less emotionally grounded may react with hostility or a flood of tears. 

Practice this skill: When your misstep hurts someone, offer a complete, sincere apology. Research shows that the best apologies have four elements: They spell out your intent (“I want to apologize”), convey emotion (“I deeply regret what I did”), offer an explanation (“I wasn’t thinking”) and accept fault (“I was out of line”).

KEEPING STRESS IN CHECK

“Another sign of emotional well-being is being able to cope with stressful situations,” says Winch. If you’re a good stress manager, you’ve probably found several calming techniques that work for you, such as counting to 10, taking deep breaths, calling a friend or going for a walk. If you’re not, out-of-control stress may lead to temper outbursts, trouble sleeping, headaches, an upset stomach or other problems. 

Practice this skill: When you’re feeling stressed, watch how you talk to yourself in your head, advises Winch. Cut out negative self-talk (“I can’t do this”). Replace it with realistically positive thoughts (“I’ll do the best I can”).

LIVING IN THE MOMENT

Mindfulness is more than just the buzzword du jour, says Hanks. It’s a proven technique for reducing stress, decreasing hostility, improving relationships and boosting enthusiasm. Simply put, mindfulness means being fully aware of your internal experience as it unfolds from moment to moment. You notice sensations, feelings and thoughts, but you don’t judge them or get hung up on them. 

Practice this skill: When you need to reboot your mental focus, take a mindful stroll. Notice your breath going in and out, your muscles tensing and relaxing and your feet pushing against the ground. Be aware of all the sights, sounds and smells around you.

CARVING OUT TIME FOR FUN

“Ask yourself: ‘Which activities bring me a lot of satisfaction and joy? Have I spent time doing those things lately? If not, how can I squeeze in more time for them?'” says Winch. Looking for ways to get the most enjoyment from life is another hallmark of emotional well-being. Ideally, you should spend some time every day on just-for-fun activities, such as listening to music, reading a novel or soaking in a hot bath. 

Practice this skill: Winch suggests taking a day — or longer, if you can — to play tourist around your hometown. Do the kinds of things you like to do on vacation, such as going for a hike, visiting a museum or taking photos of the landscape.

LIVE WELL WORK Well : Poor Diets

August 2nd, 2019 | Comments Off on LIVE WELL WORK Well : Poor Diets | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

1 in 5 Deaths Worldwide Associated With Poor Diets

According to a recently published study, 11 million deaths in 2017 were attributable to dietary risk factors. That total number translates to one-fifth of the world’s total deaths. The study defines dietary risk factors and poor diets as ones that are heavy in sugar, salt and trans fats.  

While this study reveals startling numbers, it’s a well-known fact that eating healthy can help reduce your risk of developing chronic conditions like heart disease or Type 2 diabetes. By keeping such conditions at bay, you can maintain your overall health and be well on your way to living a long, healthy life.

Here are some tips to help you start eating healthier:

  • Balance your plate with a variety of foods. Your plate should be 50% fruits and vegetables, 25% lean meat, poultry or fish, and 25% grains.
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  • Get a personalized eating plan. Speak with your doctor to develop a plan that will give you the amounts of each food group you need daily. Your doctor may recommend you seek out a registered dietician or nutritionist to create the best plan for you.
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  • Beware of sweetened drinks. Sodas and sports drinks are high in calories and sugars or sugar substitutes. Whenever possible, choose water over these drinks.
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  • Read food labels carefully. Make sure to always read nutrition labels to find out how healthy a particular food may be. It’s also important to check the ingredient list, which is different from the nutritional label.

For more information on how you can improve or maintain a healthy diet, contact your doctor.

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Going Camping?

July 2nd, 2019 | Comments Off on Going Camping? | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Here’s the Rundown of What You Need to Know

As the temperatures rise and the days become longer, many Americans will head out on camping adventures. Whether you’re a seasoned camping pro or new to the activity, it’s always a good idea to review camping safety tips.

Don’t Forget to Pack the Essentials

Before setting out, it is important that you remember to pack things like fresh water, food, a first-aid kit, matches, insect repellent, extra clothing and a waterproof tent.

Think Twice Before Pitching Your Tent

It’s important to carefully consider where you’re setting up camp. Avoid low-lying areas that could flood during a heavy rain. Also, in windy conditions, avoid setting up your tent under a tree, as possible falling limbs could present a danger.

Campfire Safety

If you’re not careful, a campfire can quickly become dangerous. Keep the following tips in mind to stay safe:

  • If possible, surround the fire pit with rocks, and keep a bucket of water nearby.
     
  • Do not build the fire near the tent(s) or anything else flammable.
     
  • Never leave a fire unattended, and ensure it is completely out before going to bed.
     
  • Collect firewood from the ground only, never cut into living trees.

Prioritize Safety Over Fun

To keep the experience fun and safe there are some basic precautions that every camper should take. What’s discussed here is just the beginning of camping safety. For more information on how you can remain safe on your trip, click here

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